It rained in Spain during the olive harvest - and it rained and rained. Groves were flooded and producers in the southern olive growing regions report severe disruption to their harvesting. Most of the olive oil produced in Spain, which produces almost 50% of the world supply, comes from these southern regions
Reports abound of late harvesting and a substantial tonnage being collected off the ground, destined to produce lampante olive oil and bound for the refineries. Analysts predict a massive increase in the refined olive oil supply as a result, and a shortage of high quality extra virgin olive oil. This shortage may be alleviated by higher than usual carryover stocks from the 2008/2009 season which have been stored with government assistance.
The expected affect on the market worldwide is a decrease in price of the refined 'extra light' and 'pure' olive oils. The shortage of extra virgin olive oil will probably put upward pressure on the price of this category. This will be countered by supplies of cheap refined oils filling supermarket shelves encouraging shoppers to switch from the more expensive extra virgin olive oils.